Red Cross Data Breach Compromises Thousands of Records

A contractor working for Red Cross has fallen prey to a cyberattack, and it has compromised the data of 515,000 people. The worrying aspect is that Red Cross has termed these individuals as ‘highly vulnerable,’ and most of these people are those who were separated from their families due to various reasons ranging from conflict and disaster.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has not named the Swiss-based affected contractor. Red Cross is using this contractor to house data, and the committee didn’t divulge the reasons which led to the incident. However, the organization elaborated that the affected data arose from at least 60 Red Cross and Red Crescent societies.

Red Cross issued a plea where it asked the hackers not to share or leak the compromised data as the nature of the information is quite sensitive.

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“Your actions could potentially cause yet more harm and pain to those who have already endured untold suffering. The real people, the real families behind the information you now have are among the world’s least powerful. Please do the right thing. Do not share, sell, leak, or otherwise use this data,” read their statement.

Director-General of ICRC, Robert Mardini, felt the Red Cross data breach endangered the people they were trying to help.

“An attack on the data of people who are missing makes the anguish and suffering for families even more difficult to endure. We are all appalled and perplexed that this humanitarian information would be targeted and compromised,” said Robert Mardini. “This cyber-attack puts vulnerable people, those already in need of humanitarian services, at further risk.”

Red Cross Data Breach

A spokesman for Red Cross elaborated that the stolen data housed names, locations, contact details, and the worst of all: access credentials to some of Red Cross’s programs.

The compromised data encompasses the data of families which have missing people, separated kids, detained individuals, and people who are recipients of the Red Cross and Red Crescent services.

The credentials of 2,000 Red Cross and Red Crescent members have gone in this attack. The spokesman, Crystal Wells, said that no other data from the internal committee was stolen in the Red Cross data breach.

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Hackers are increasingly targeting international humanitarian groups. United Nations suffered a similar incident last year by unknown threat actors, and Microsoft stated that the U.S. Agency for International Development was also a target recently.

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